Yusaku Kamekura | Biography, Life, Work, Logos and Awards
Yusaku Kamekura (1915 – 1997)
Yusaku Kamekura is widely regarded as the greatest and most influential Japanese graphic designer in history. He is often credited with introducing Japanese design aesthetic to the rest of the world and promoting graphic design as an integral element of modern society, culture and art in Japan. He created hundreds of memorable corporate identities, posters and book covers.
Born and raised in the Niigata prefecture in Japan, he studied at Tokyo’s Institute of New Architecture and Industrial Arts. Kamekura’s unique design style incorporated a stylish and contemporary but long-lasting approach – that utilized abstract forms, planes, and lines, as well as photography – while emotionally reacting to subjects through imaginative, minimalistic use of colors. He preferred bright, mixed hues and employed primary colors very seldom. His masterful use of black in the background, for the image or the title, brought unremarkable depth and rare beauty to his work.
Kamekura created visual identities and branding solutions for Tokyo 1964 Olympics, Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science, Taiyo Kikai-Kogyo Machine Factory, Yuken-Boeki Insurance Company, Corona Automobile Model, Japan Industrial Designers Association, Taiyo Machine Industry Co., Daishowa Seishi Paper Mill, among others. He died on 11 May 1997 at the age of 82. He has numerous awards and accolades, both national and international, to his credit and his work has been exhibited widely in various art galleries and museums throughout the world.
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